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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem Signs Bill Protecting Babies Who Survive Abortions

Milton Quintanilla | CrosswalkHeadlines Contributor | Updated: Mar 01, 2021
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem Signs Bill Protecting Babies Who Survive Abortions

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem Signs Bill Protecting Babies Who Survive Abortions

On Wednesday, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signed a new bill that protects any baby that survives an abortion in the state.

The measure titled, “An Act to maintain the life of any child born alive”, also known as House Bill 1051, passed both houses of the state Legislature with overwhelming support.

According to the bill, the “same means and medical skills and treatment provided” to a newborn child born during the course of a delivery “must be employed and provided to every child born alive immediately following an abortion or an attempted abortion.”

“This obligation applies to every physician who performs or attempts to perform an abortion that results in a child being born alive,” the legislation stated.

“Such physician has a physician-patient relationship with that child under the laws of this state, with all of the duties that attend that relationship.”

The bill was first introduced in January and was passed in the State’s House of Representatives in a 32-3 vote. Earlier in February, the act passed the State Senate in a vote of 32-3.

“The pro-life cause continues even after a child is born,” Noem tweeted Wednesday. “Today, I signed Born Alive legislation to guarantee the right to life for every baby that is born alive. We expect doctors to treat all children equally, even those born in horrific circumstances. It's basic human decency.”

“Born Alive”, as defined by the bill, means “the complete expulsion or extraction of a human being from its mother, at any stage of gestation, if after the expulsion or extraction, and regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut.” Additionally, the infant is considered to have been born alive if they:

  1. Breathe;
  2. Have a beating heart;
  3. Have a pulsation of the umbilical cord; or
  4. Have definite movements of voluntary muscles.

The measure was not without opposition as the South Dakota chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) contended that the bill placed “politicians between a person and their doctor.”

“If this bill becomes law, obstetricians and pediatricians would be forced to deviate from their best medical judgment and administer futile and painful treatment against the wishes of the parents, under the threat of civil litigation,” ACLU said in a statement.

“Numerous health care organizations, representing thousands of clinicians, oppose these bills including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Nurse-Midwives, and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.”


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Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Jacek Sopotnicki

Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for CrosswalkHeadlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem Signs Bill Protecting Babies Who Survive Abortions